Rise of mobile devices push market for wafer-level packaging
ReportsnReports forecasted that the global wafer-level packaging equipment market to grow at a CAGR of 2.9 per cent from 2013 until 2018. According to the report, the most important driver is the increasing adoption of mobile devices that include cell phones, smartphones, notebooks, tablets, ultrabooks and PDAs. This has led to a consequential rise in the demand for wafer-level packaging equipment, as it is vital for the functioning of mobile devices.
To sustain the competition in the market, semiconductor manufacturers are continuously introducing innovative products, reducing manufacturing costs and improving product efficiency. For instance, they have introduced chips that are available in smaller sizes; the sizes of these chips have reduced from 45nm to 22nm. They have also introduced chips with high dielectric constant materials and FinFET or tri-gate transistors. In addition, DRAM memory manufacturers are currently employing 3x node production technology and 2x node production technology for the production of DRAMs. As these innovations require highly complicated wafer-level packaging equipment, the increase in the number of innovations by semiconductor manufacturers is likely to foster their demand in the market.
Further, the report states that one of the key challenges in this market is the cyclical nature of the semiconductor industry, which leads to fluctuations in the demand for wafer-level packaging equipment. Moreover, in some cases, the production of such equipment tends to exceed their demand, leading to a large demand-supply gap.
The short replacement cycle of portable electronic devices is a major trend witnessed in the global wafer-level packaging inspection systems market. In the current scenario, portable electronic devices such as smartphones and tablets are becoming obsolete within a short period of time. The main reason for this is the quick succession of next-version models, which results in consumers replacing older versions of their devices with newer ones. At the present time, the duration of the replacement cycle period is 8-12 months, but it used to be much longer. Therefore, this reduction in the product replacement cycle is fostering the demand for semiconductor wafers for their use in newly launched devices.
Analysts forecast the global wafer level packaging inspection systems market to grow at a CAGR of 1.54 percent over the period 2013-2018. According to the report, the growth of the market is driven by several factors, the most important of which is the rising demand for smartphones and tablets. One of the major reasons for the growing demand for these devices is their increasing adoption in emerging markets. This subsequently creates more demand for semiconductor wafers, thus driving the growth of the global wafer-level packaging inspection systems market.
Further, the report noted that one of the key challenges in the market is the cyclical nature of the Semiconductor industry. As a result of this, many wafer-level packaging inspection system manufacturers often experience fluctuating revenues, which in turn adversely affects their profitability.